Future Nostalgia

I wonder how time has the innate ability to flash by seemingly in the blink of an eye, yet in the same capacity, to be slow enough for every minute to feel like eternity. And how we can never find ourselves in a content balance between this contrasting peculiarity of time. I suppose it is in human nature to never be surfeited by what one already has.

I sit on the swing on my terrace, briefly indulging in the string of memories attached to that very seat, with only a warm cup of coffee to accompany me in the chilly morning air. There is something pleasantly uncanny about cool, early mornings when the sky is still in a dilemma between night and day, when the beautiful hues of the sun haven’t reached you, yet it is enough to provide you with sufficient light. A brief period which provides you with solitude and a sense of solace, while leaving you in contemplation. I sit there, gently rocking the swing back and forth, while swimming in waves of nostalgia.

But no, I do not sail to a period several years ago, a time when I was a chatty little kid, with no worry in life except dwelling over whether the next meal is a favourite delicacy or not. Instead, memories of the recent past flicker like echoes in my mind. And in this moment, I realise just how much I cherish it. It’s in the simplest of things that I find absolute contentment. Moments like sitting with my closest friends, not talking about anything heavy or light, just bathing in the gratifying presence of each other, or the deep breaths after a ridiculously long laugh with pleasantly sore stomachs. Even the chaos after a kitchen disaster or a sport in the name of a family activity that everyone sucked at anyway. It’s in moments like these that I like to pause and soak in the simple joy and contentment. And I enjoy it, simply because it is happening, because it is my reality. Because these are moments that I would like to remember when I find myself in similar whereabouts, with a similar cup of coffee on a similar chilly morning, years later, when I find myself in a similar reverie. This is what I want to be nostalgic about.

Things change, people come and go, but I suppose memories are forever, a constant. Life does not stop for anybody, but memories are always there to offer comfort in the overwhelming unfamiliarity of life. These moments of today will only be remembered as stories someday. The pictures we click will simply remain as old photographs one day. You can just look at them and remember the time when they weren’t memories. And maybe, it is okay to be a little sad because memories can only offer so much comfort and seemingly, that particular time is so much better than just an echo of it, but when you look back, you only remember the good times. And I guess that is the whole point. Perhaps the sole purpose of nostalgia is to remember only the good times while overlooking the bad. To naively believe that things were better as it was. Either way, I will reiterate my previous claim that humans are never surfeited by what they already have. But knowing something like that makes you want to change it. So that’s what I try to do. I try to live in the moment. To cherish what I already have.

I am unaware of how much time has passed as I sit swinging, musing in my preoccupation, but I am shaken from my long train of thought by my mother, who finds me on the terrace in deep thought. She asks me what is going on in my head, and all I can reply is, “Future nostalgia.”

Author: Anika Priyaranjan

Editor: Siddhansh Agarwal

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